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Cardinals Release Pagnozzi

Tom Pagnozzi, one of two players remaining from the 1987 World Series team, was released Sunday by the St. Louis Cardinals.

Pagnozzi, 36, was let go to make room for right-hander Juan Acevedo, who was activated from the 15-day disabled list from an elbow injury. Pagnozzi was batting .219 with one homer and 10 RBIs in 51 games, and had fallen to third string behind rookie Eli Marrero and Tom Lampkin.

Pagnozzi, who has a career mark of .253 with 44 homers and 320 RBIs, has made only one start since July 24. The only player now remaining from the 1987 team is outfielder Willie McGee.

Entering the season, Cal Ripken, Tony Gwynn and Barry Larkin were the only active players who had been with their original teams longer than Pagnozzi had been with the Cardinals. Pagnozzi was an eighth-round pick by St. Louis in the June 1983 draft.

When Joe Torre became manager late in the 1990 season, his first move was to make Pagnozzi the starter and to move Todd Zeile, who had been catching, to third base. Pagnozzi won Gold Gloves in 1991, '92 and '94 and led the league in fielding in 1992 - when he committed only one error and tied the league record with a .999 percentage - and in 1994.

He made the NL All-Star team in 1992.

Pagnozzi was extremely durable for a few years, playing in 140 games in 1991 and 139 in 1992. He was injured much of the next three seasons, but had one of his best offensive seasons for the 1996 NL Central championship team, batting .270 with a career-best 13 homers and 55 RBIs.

He's fourth on the team's career list with 827 games at catcher.

Acevedo is 5-2 with a 3.27 ERA in 29 games, nine of them starts, and two saves. He had been on the DL since July 18, a day after his last start.

Manager Tony La Russa has indicated he might use Acevedo in the bullpen at first with the rotation more set than it has been all year.

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